A Hubbard mother worked hard to make her twin sons birthday party special, particularly because she thinks it might be the last birthday for one of them.
Hillary Cruz is the mother of twin boys Hyrum Chase and Cruz Gutierrez, who turned 8 last week. While Cruz is a typical, energetic 8-year-old, Chase was born with CHARGE syndrome. CHARGE is an acronym for coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the choanae, retardation of growth and/or development, genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness.
The doctor says theres no reason to explain why my boy is still alive, the single mom said. This birthday is a celebration of life. Were going to roll out the red carpet and make it a way to thank the community.
She said the birthday party, which was April 19, included the boys being serenaded by Portland band Hit Machine and even a ride for fun in the ambulance, thanks to American Medical Response.
I am so grateful for the community support, Cruz said.
In addition to her two boys, Cruz also takes care of her 8-year-old granddaughter Alina, who suffers from epilepsy.
But Cruz is grateful for every day she can spend with Chase.
We didnt think he would survive his first winter, she said. Theres no medical explanation for why hes still alive. But hes here to teach me and to teach the community. Ive learned so much, things you cant learn anywhere else.
Cruz pointed out that she is already grieving the loss of her mother to cancer in January, but she thinks Chase, who is bedridden, wont be around much longer either.
Its been a hard road this year, she said. The whole purpose of a big party was to give a shout-out to the community, fire department, police everyone who has helped us over the years. Its been a family endeavor, because thats what they are theyre family.
The community can still help support Chases family, which has tallied up a high amount of medical bills. For more information, visit www.gofundme.com/6rtmec.